Whether you visit us on a docent-led tour, or visit on your own, we encourage you to review the following resources prior to your visit to the Abbey:
Digital Display Board
Please visit our Ovila Room Digital Display Board (not viewable on mobile devices) to learn more about the history of the property, the history of the monastery, the monks, the Journey of the Sacred Stones from Spain, and our current way of life today.
The History of the Abbey of New Clairvaux
by Father John E. Boll and Abbot Emeritus Thomas X. Davis
“The Monks of Vina” documentary
With the wine harvest of 2012 as the backdrop, director John Beck explores the quirks of monastic life at the Abbey of New Clairvaux, north of Chico, California. The faith of the trappist monks is tested as they attempt to make wine in the same scorching climate where Gov. Leland Stanford once planted the largest vineyard in the world in the 1880s. Lifting a veil on the spiritual side of winemaking, “The Monks of Vina” reveals the extreme sacrifice and devotion required in a quest to become closer to God.
Building the Great Cathedrals (NOVA)
The Gothic cathedrals are marvelous human achievements in architecture and artistry. Building the Great Cathedrals investigates how medieval architects could conceive and construct grand religious buildings such as the Beauvais Cathedral of France. It explores the logistics of acquiring the stone and other materials used in the construction of a cathedral, discusses how such an endeavour could require the manpower of entire towns and how the construction of some sites transitioned from one living architect to the next.
Golden Gate Park’s Medieval Monastery Stones
and where to find them